I shouldn't be surprised. During my entire 50-year adulthood, I have never chosen my own place to live. Not once. Until now. For a long time, I called no place home. There were places I lived happily, some very good places, and people I loved there, and things I learned. But here, this place, this house--it feels like a prolonged hug. Warm, familiar, like I'm tucking myself into the last void in the puzzle. A perfect fit.
So I walked by the river today and along the way found a store. For the first time since I was child, I find myself in a real neighborhood rather than a distant suburb or on a country lane framed by punishing hills. But there it was, a real store well within the reach of a comfortable stroll. So I tested it and bought an egg salad sandwich. That's always the test, after all. It passed. The bread was fresh and made with unbleached flour, mayo-ey eggs squeezed out the sides, and the lettuce still had a satisfying crunch at 2 in the afternoon.
I sat by the riverside to eat, then, on the way home, reveled in manageable, gravel-less sidewalks, and actual blocks with crosswalks and street signs that announce your arrival.
That's my car in the driveway. Yes, I have a driveway, too, and rather than a metal shed, an actual garage with an opener. I have garbage pickup and, finally, finally, a window on the second floor. I'm there now, looking out and watching a world that's at last the right size. The pine tree in the front yard is swaying in the wind and down below, right under where I'm sitting, October roses resolutely bloom.